NHL Rumor Mill – October 25, 2021
Could the Blackhawks shop Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews at the trade deadline? Could the Sharks reach a settlement to terminate Evander Kane’s contract? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks wonders when the talk begins about Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews becoming available at the March 21 trade deadline. The duo has two years remaining on their contracts with matching $10.5 million cap hits and full no-movement clauses.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks’ lousy start to this season is behind Brooks’ speculation. Nevertheless, it seems premature for that kind of talk. Unless Kane and Toews want out, and there’s no indication of that, they’re not going anywhere.
Kane and Toews are signed through 2022-23. Assuming one or both were to hit the trade block, their contracts make them difficult to move this season with only seven teams carrying at least $10 million in cap space this season. Their movement clauses would significantly limit the number of potential destinations. The best time to move them would be next summer when there will be more teams with plentiful cap space willing to make big moves.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng had mused about the possibility of the San Jose Sharks reaching a settlement with Evander Kane to terminate the troubled winger’s contract. He pointed to the Los Angeles Kings doing the same thing with Mike Richards in 2015 where they paid 60 percent of the remaining value of Richards’ contract over 17 years, cap hit included.
However, Peng recently cited “a highly placed NHL source” saying such a settlement for the Sharks and Kane is out of the question for now. The source said the Sharks case for terminating the winger’s contract wouldn’t be as strong as the Kings’ case was with Richards.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some readers have also wondered why Kane’s use of a fake COVID vaccination card doesn’t constitute a breach of contract. Writing for Forbes.com, sports legal analyst Eric Macramalla explained it’s not a material breach because Kane can still perform the services of his contract, which is playing hockey. The Sharks also can’t use the morals clause in his contract as grounds for termination because he’s already been punished by the league for using that fake COVID card.
Given Kane’s limited trade value, Macramalla believes the Sharks will need to buy out Kane if they hope to move on from him.